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Dozens dead, thousands at risk in European cold snap: IFRC

(Xinhua)

16:04, February 03, 2012

GENEVA, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- Over 80 people have died from hypothermia and frostbite in Poland and Ukraine, as a cold snap affected a large part of Europe, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said on Thursday.

Lives of thousands of people are at risk due to the extreme cold wave which has taken control over Central and Eastern Europe, bringing wind, heavy snow and extremely low temperature, which was as low as minus 32 degrees Celsius in some areas, the IFRC said.

Bad weather also caused power outages, traffic chaos and the closure of schools and nurseries in some parts of Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, Serbia, Romania and Russia.

Victims were mostly homeless people, who also suffered from the prolonged economic crisis.

Red Cross Societies in the affected countries have been working around the clock to provide hot meals, warm clothing and blankets to those in need.

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